Joan Bauer's Hope was Here follows the story of Hope Yancey, a teenager who was abandoned by her birth mother, Deena, and is now being raised by her Aunt Addie in Brooklyn. After the diner Hope and Addie work at closes down, the pair moves to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work at the Welcome Stairways Diner. Although the restaurant itself contains many lovely, friendly people, Mulhoney is riddled by political corruption.
The climax of the book occurs when G.T., the owner of Welcome Stairways, loses the race to become mayor of the city because Eli Millstone, the incumbent mayor, has rigged the election by 1) lying to the town and telling them G.T.'s cancer has spread to his brain, and 2) faking the votes under the names of townspeople who did not vote. Addie reveals this information, which results in the electoral decision being overturned and G.T. becoming the new mayor. G.T. marries Addie and adopts Hope, emotionally satisfying her lifelong search for her father.